Top academic says AI desperately needs more female participation


An article penned by one of Malta’s foremost academics in the field of artificial intelligence has made it to the top 20 articles published on business blogging platform CoFoundersTown in 2020.

Article written by Alexei Dingli published on

In his article Prof. Alexiei Dingli writes about the female side of AI. Without female input – because most AI systems are created by male engineers – AI systems may actually not operate correctly! 

One of the examples raised is that virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have a female voice by default.

“When one of these virtual assistants was asked to do something inappropriate and verbally abused with sexist comments, it responded with ‘I’d blush if I could’. This reaction promotes the image of female submission in response to sexist abuse which is simply unacceptable,” writes Prof. Dingli.

The solution?

More female participation in AI by reaching gender balance in the tech industry is needed. Shockingly, 70% of Silicon Valley’s employees are male and this is an industry average across the board. 

Society needs to continue breaking the glass ceiling when it comes to women in tech. We need to get girls interested in science and technology from a very young age, and as Prof. Dingli tells us “Some of my very best university students at the University of Malta are women!”

Ada Lovelace, the daughter of poet Lord Byron, has been called “the first computer programmer” for writing an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s.

Tech jobs are some of the highest paid and offer the opportunity to work remotely, so there is absolutely no reason why women shouldn’t take up these careers.

And Prof. Dingli’s closing appeal: “So if you’re interested, have a look at the University nearby, reach out to female academics and learn about the path they took. Don’t let anyone stop you!…we desperately need, the female side of AI!”